Guilt is crazy in two ways:
First, Guilt uses peer pressure to ask why you’re still grieving so hard after “X” amount of time.
Second, Guilt shows up on your doorstep when you’re having a good day because you neglected to mourn.
There’s no winning.
Usually, my days are long stretches of empty hours spent poking around my house. Grief has plenty of time to appear and then dissipate. I give grief the attention it needs, and then some.
But in the last week or two, I’ve been much busier than usual, preparing for and then hosting house guests. I set grief aside and enjoyed a string of good days.
Today my house is empty again and I suddenly remembered that I have not been grieving.
Guilt is robbing me of what could be another good day. I am robbing myself.
But I should be sad, right?
I’ve carried my grief with me for long enough that without it, I feel incomplete. It’s the same feeling as when I forget my phone at home, shallow as that may sound.
Handing over my baby left an emptiness in me. Grief rushed in to fill part of that void. But as I learn to accept my new normal, my grief is beginning to diminish.
I think it’s important to be careful that guilt does not replace the space grief once filled. Guilt can easily fuel my grief, keeping me in a perpetual state of sorrow.
Instead, I want to embrace the good days. Dominic does not have to be my only sunny spot in life, and his absence does not have to cast a constant shadow. I remember him every day, and I miss him every day, but I am learning to bask in the sunlight of the good days I have without him.
Do you feel guilt when the intensity of grief subsides? How do you deal with it? Do you believe it’s OK to enjoy good days? Leave a reply in the comment box below! Please be familiar with the comment policy.